Which Route

I should probably check what percentage of beer posts are about collaborations. I guess as an introvert, I am intrigued by the camaraderie shown inside the brewhouse.

One of the more prolific collaborators has been Beachwood. They are at it again with Radiant Beer and a lagered IPA using The Californiana lingo for the name.

11 Headed Monster

Some collaborations are easy. Neighbors from the same city type of thing. Others involve a double-digit amount of people in the brewhouse. Looks like Ogopogo had the latter. What is even crazier is that there are (4) breweries that I had never even heard of before involved as well as midwest folks too. Watch for it later this month.

Ecliptic California Collabs

Ecliptic Brewing of Portland, Oregon is turning 5 years young and will be releasing 5 special beers throughout the year called the 2019 Cosmic Collaboration Series.

John Harris, Ecliptic Brewing’s Owner and Brewmaster has reached out to Brooklyn Brewery, Breakside, Bell’s and two California breweries too.

Here is the full line-up:

Ecliptic Brewing + Brooklyn Brewery: Tangerine Farmhouse Ale (February)
Ecliptic Brewing + Firestone Walker Brewing Co.: Galactica Hazy Double IPA with #692, Idaho 7 and Kasmir (April)
Ecliptic Brewing + Breakside Brewery: Nectarine Sour Ale (June)
Ecliptic Brewing + Bell’s Brewery: Juicy IPA (August)
Ecliptic Brewing + Russian River Brewing Company: Hoppy Belgian Strong Golden Ale (October)

Climb the Family Tree

Before I finish up my trip to the PNW, I thought I would highlight a cool idea that the now 30-year old Deschutes Brewery has concocted…

The Bend based brewery has “invited several Deschutes Brewery alumni to return and collaborate on seven exciting new brews.”

Per their press release, “The Deschutes Brewery 30th anniversary collaboration “family tree” includes John Harris, Deschutes Brewery’s original brewmaster with Ecliptic Brewery, Frank Appleton a brewing consultant responsible for creating the recipes of Deschutes’ beloved brands such as Black Butte Porter and Cascade Golden Ale, Tim Gossack from Bell’s Brewery, Tony Lawrence from Boneyard Brewery, long time brewer Mark Vickery, Paul Arney from The Ale Apothecary, and Cam O’Connor and Larry Sidor now with Crux Fermentation Project.”

There is also the little thing with….

Let’s Play


Alexandra Nowell from Three Weavers has gone big. Teaming with Portland based Gigantic Brewing to concoct Play Date, “a barrel aged golden ale. It’s a “cocktail beer” that weighs in at 8% ABV and features fruity pomegranate and ginger melded and mellowed by months spent in bourbon barrels.”

Let’s hope some of this ends up in Inglewood and L.A. in keg and bottle form.

Across The World – Ranked – The 1st Six

Earlier this month, I picked up the latest Sierra Nevada Beer Camp variety box and set about trying all 12 and ranking them.

Here is my hot take on the first six beers tasted and my ranked results:
1. The Bruery Raspberry Sundae – Points for really following through on the name. Strong raspberry notes and sweetness that the lactose really softens the edges from.

2. Surly Ginger Lager – Way too much ginger on this but I like that taste so even though the lager ½ of the name is overwhelmed, I enjoyed this.

3. Kiuchi White IPA with Yuzu – Nice IPA. Not earth shattering but the best of the first six easily.

4. Treehouse East Meets West IPA – Not super hazy. A bit juicy. Can’t avoid talk of Treehouse beers but this is only so-so to me.

5. Boneyard West Coast Style DIPA – Another hop bomb that I was looking forward to that just sorta sat there. Like Treehouse, I expected something more.

6. Mikkeller Thai-Style Ice Tea – Whereas the ingredients in The Bruery beer contrasted. This was a muddle. And unlike the Ginger Lager, I am not a fan of Thai Ice Tea so this gets the bottom score.

Overall, I expect the back six beers to be better. There will be (4) foreign to (2) US collaborations. None of these, that includes the raspberry, were great. The IPA’s didn’t have that extra something to elevate them even from each other. My expectations vs what was in the bottle had a large gulf in between them.

A Collaborative Only Brewery

There are plenty of interesting nuggets when reading about new nano brewery Horus Aged Ales. First and foremost is in the names from Kyle Harrop’s Oceanside brewery will be barrel-aged. Also the Southwestern logo.

What struck me though was the width and breadth of Harrop’s collaborations. Here is the list of past and future collaborators:

Courtyard Brewery of New Orleans
Homage Brewing of Pomona
Abnormal Beer Company of Rancho Bernardo
Alvarado Street Brewery of Monterey
El Segundo Brewing of (obviously) El Segundo)
Wren House Brewing of Phoenix
J. Wakefield Brewing of Miami
Great Notion Brewing of Portland
The Answer Brewpub of Richmond
White Fence Brewing of Vista
And finally… Rip Current Brewing of San Marcos

That will be quite the event if they can get all of those under one roof.

This long list led me to think about the possibility of a brewery just doing collaborations. Would that be feasible? Would you even need a brewery of your own? Would you package or have a tap room? What location would be prime for travel to and fro?

America to the World

apologies for my penmanship

Sierra Nevada’s popular Beer Camp is poised to go worldwide this year with a variety 12-pack: Beer Camp Across the World.
Sierra Nevada keeps upping the ante on this program and this looks like the logical next step. They have European collaborations in their history with their Oktoberfest beer so why not go international.

The “supergroup” beers heavily leaned on the geographic places that the breweries hailed from and they plan to do that again as Bill Manley from Sierra Nevada, explains “With the international folks, we asked them to think about something unique to them, what’s unique to their sense of place, so we’ll be able to, theoretically, taste two senses of place.”

The initial R&D test batches were brewed in November of last year and the whole packs will be on shelves in June of this year. Here are the beers that you will see (italicized are my picks for most excited to try) starting with the international side.…
Dunkel Weisse with Ayinger Brewery
Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale Brewed w/ Lemon Peels with Duvel
Atlantic Vintage Ale with Fuller’s Brewery
Campout Porter with Garage Project
White IPA w/ Yuzu with Kiuchi Brewery
Thai-Style Iced Tea with Mikkeller

Now onto the American beers you will find in the box….
Dry-Hopped Barleywine Style Ale with Avery Brewing Co.
West Coast Style DIPA with Boneyard Beer
Dry-Hopped Berliner Weisse with Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Ginger Lager with Surly Brewing Co.
Raspberry Sundae with The Bruery
East Meets West IPA with Tree House Brewing Co.